“Boogie,” the feature directorial debut of Eddie Huang, earned an estimated gross of $1.2 million in its opening weekend, showing in selected theaters across the country.
Huang is best known for his memoir that became the hit TV series “Fresh Off the Boat.” His new drama stars Taylor Takahashi as Boogie, a high school basketball prodigy in New York who dreams of one day playing in the NBA. His parents, however, want him to give up his hoop dreams and focus on studying his way into an elite college.
Takahashi makes his acting debut, after meeting Huang while playing basketball here in Los Angeles. The director said he immediately saw something different in Takahashi.
“I met him, and I could just tell that he was counter-cultural,” Huang told Highsnobiety.com. He was in the subculture, and he’s really different than a lot of the kids on the [rec] team. It’s an Asian basketball team, and me and Tay are the ones that are like, ‘We don’t have jobs!’ I really saw potential in him. And I like to give people a shot that didn’t just follow the instruction manual for life.”
“Basketball was the biggest way to grow my confidence,” Takahashi added. “It was going to the park, it was getting knocked down, pushed around, getting the racial slurs coming at me. And I’m not a big s**t talker when I play. I think I’d pull myself out of the game. I’ve always tried to take that mentality of like, ‘My game’s going to talk for me. I’m going to earn your respect, mind your own stripes. I come into the sport and I’m going to play the right way.’”
“Boogie” also stars Pamelyn Chee as Boogie’s mother, Taylour Paige as his girlfriend, and the late rapper Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson as the star player of a rival high school.
On the Web: https://www.focusfeatures.com/boogie